French Polynesia celebrates Autonomy Day on 29 June. This is an official public holiday whose date is based on the 1880 annexation treaty signed between the King of Tahiti and colonial France.
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Thus, oddly enough, Autonomy Day is dated based on when French Polynesia lost its autonomy even though it is named for the gaining of autonomy. In 1984, French Polynesia became fully autonomous from France in regard to its internal affairs. In 1946, partial autonomy had been granted, and in 2003, it was fully integrated with France as an overseas collectivity.
Tahiti and other parts of present-day French Polynesia have been in contact with Europeans since the early 1500s. It was only in the 1840s, however, that the islands became a French protectorate. Full annexation, as we said, came in 1880.
Autonomy Day is a rather low-key holiday in French Polynesia, but it is still nice to have a day off. Many head to the beaches to enjoy a day in the sun, go picnicking, or just spend time at home with family and friends.
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